Igeneric Thoughts Archives: e-Research

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Understanding UK priorities for digitisation


December 17, 2004

According to Peter Suber at Open Access News, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC - a Igeneric member) and CURL are funding a joint study to

“help create a national strategy for the ongoing digitising of research materials, by identifying gaps and ensuring that those involved can keep abreast of emerging technologies.”

Employees of UK academic or research libraries are invited to fill in an online questionnaire to inform the work, and the results will doubtless be of benefit beyond the UK university sector.

There is a press release on the JISC web site. They do have an RSS feed, which would have told me this, but my news reader doesn't like it...

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 11:07 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (3)

“Cyberinfrastructure” committee reports in the USA


December 12, 2004

The final report of the National Science Foundation's Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure has just been released in the United States.

The report explores the implications of fundamentally changing the way in which 'big' science is undertaken through leveraging the capabilities of a coherent and robust Network, and the compute and data resources that it joins together.

Quoting from the Executive Summary (PDF download),

“The Panel's overarching finding is that a new age has dawned in scientific and engineering research, pushed by continuing progress in computing, information, and communication technology, and pulled by the expanding complexity, scope, and scale of today's challenges. The capacity of this technology has crossed thresholds that now make possible a comprehensive ”cyberinfrastructure“ on which to build new types of scientific and engineering knowledge environments and organizations and to pursue research in new ways and with increased efficacy.”

Information from an NSF e-mail alert.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 21:29 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (1)

Hunterian Museum launches What Clicks study on museums and eLearning


November 30, 2004

The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow has launched their new publication, “What Clicks?” According to the Press Release the publication outlines the exciting potential of ICT to increase public access to museum collections and develop e-learning facilities. Research reported in the document show that 73% of schoolteachers used websites to help plan lessons, yet 74.5% of the Scottish Museums surveyed either didn’t know or weren’t sure what use was made of their websites by remote audiences. The report recommends therefore, that marketing strategies for museums need to be developed to ensure that resources are reaching those who require them, and in a format which is most relevant to them.

The Hunterian has been working in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University in the United States, and with a variety of bodies from across the museum and education sector in Scotland to produce this publication. The project investigated ways in which ICT can achieve access for all to the nation’s museum collections, and can promote new learning styles that actively engage those physically remote from museums collections. Key to its findings were...

Museums must be more organised in terms of what they want their websites to do for them. Specifically, museums must

• establish their target audiences.

• identify the user needs of these audiences.

• consider whether these user needs are being met.

•embrace fully the philosophy of “access for all”.

Some museums in Scotland, particularly University Museums, are leading the way in the development and use of electronic resources. Undoubtedly finances play a huge part in this, therefore it is important for those who are more experienced in developing resources to share their knowledge throughout the museum community and provide leadership, partnership and examples of good practice.

Electronic copies of the What Clicks? Report can be downloaded from www.hunterian.gla.ac.uk/what_clicks/

Posted by David Dawson at 11:11 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

Search for peer reviewed material with Google Scholar


November 18, 2004

Google today launched a new beta service, Google Scholar.

Quoting their own information,

“Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

Just as with Google Web Search, Google Scholar orders your search results by how relevant they are to your query, so the most useful references should appear at the top of the page. This relevance ranking takes into account the full text of each article as well as the article's author, the publication in which the article appeared and how often it has been cited in scholarly literature. Google Scholar also automatically analyzes and extracts citations and presents them as separate results, even if the documents they refer to are not online. This means your search results may include citations of older works and seminal articles that appear only in books or other offline publications.”

There's some more information from ResourceShelf, and thanks also to Pete Johnston and Andy Powell at UKOLN for flagging this to me.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 12:48 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

eLearning attracts the usual suspects


September 30, 2004

Highlighted on the BBC website , a new SSRC press release reports "Despite Government efforts to promote 'lifelong learning' and a more equitable and inclusive 'learning society' there is little special or new about adult learning in the digital age, according to research at Cardiff University.

The Adult Learning@Home project, which was funded by ESRC, concluded that ICT has not increased participation and achievement rates in adult education. Instead, e-learning tends to be associated with the same factors that determine school-leaving age, such as sex and socio-economic background. "It would seem that patterns of participation in adult education are not being changed for the better by changes in education policy," says Dr Neil Selwyn."

However, the report appears to highlight the use of ICT to support informal learning.

Posted by David Dawson at 23:34 | Make or Read Comments(0)


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